LINDEN SUITES -- HOTEL OF LIES
LINDEN SUITES, THE HOTEL OF LIES
Three weeks, ago, we stayed at the Linden Suites and overall had a nominal experience, albeit with minor inconveniences. Our latest stay, however, tells a very different story.
We booked a room a few weeks prior to our arrival. Since our trip included a three day side trip to Bali, we booked two separate blocks of room nights before and after our Bali trip. We used the Agoda website and prepaid with American Express.
The Linden Suites is in a good location, about two blocks from Edsa Shangrila hotel and a rather upscale mall. Upon check in, the front desk told us that the room we requested was not available, but we were upgraded to a larger suite free of charge. We were content for the first few days.
We checked out and left four pieces of luggage. Upon our return from our Bali trip, the Linden Hotel led us straight into a waking nightmare. The room, which we had paid for in advance, was no longer available – again! The suite to which we had previously been upgraded would not be available for five days! We literally had nowhere to go.
Obviously, we were upset, and we got into a heated discussion with a Rica Rose at the front desk. She was all smiles and calm voiced as she spoke outright lies. So was her coworker, Arvi. They appeared quite comfortable feeding lies regularly to clients, like it was no big deal.
Jun Maniliman, the front desk manager, jumped into the conversation and told us that while they were sorry, there was nothing they could do. He said, and I quote, “We do not make promises at the Linden Suites.”
Let me speak plainly: A hotel is in the business of making and keeping promises. A prepaid room must be available once a guest checks in. Isn’t this how it works? In all my years of traveling for business and pleasure, going on nearly 40 years to well over twenty different countries, I have never heard a Front Desk employee --- much less a Front Desk manager – utter the most ridiculous statements to my face.
We made Jun Maniliman (who appeared quite inexperienced for management) face his despicable lies. He quickly lost his temper and walked away, muttering, “Or we could just cancel your reservation. By the way, you’ll have a hard time finding another room in Manila at this time.” Such contemptible and childish behavior befits a toddler throwing a tantrum, not someone in a position of authority.
To add insult to injury, they refused to process a refund immediately. They told us it would take a month – you read that right, one month! – before funds could be credited to our American Express card. Once we return to the US, you can bet we will call Amex and contest the charges.
We quickly left the hotel. The porters were kind and courteous and quickly got us a cab.
For the record, we are of Filipino descent. We speak the language well and can comfortably navigate the local culture, which, I am ashamed to admit, is often fraught with swindling and hucksterism. And the Linden Suites’ treatment towards us is but another sorry example of why the beloved land of my birth remains in the backwaters of the Third World and continues to be stuck there, far behind its Southeast Asian star neighbors, like Vietnam and Korea. In the US, a man like Jun Maniliman would have been fired or worse. In the Philippines, this ill tempered excuse for a person gets promoted to manager?
The Linden Suites’ failed front desk illustrates how failure to speak and act with honor and honesty result in lost clients. Simply put, customers rely on businesses to keep their word and deliver the services they offer. The Linden Suites failed us, and miserably so. I cannot imagine what a foreigner, without local contacts or help, would have done in our situation.
By the way, a few minutes later while we were inside a taxi, we were able to locate a hotel that accommodated all our requests. So, Mr. Linden Suites Front Desk Manager Jun Maliniman, Rica Rose and Arvi, put that in your pipe and smoke it.
I would have initially given four stars to the Linden Hotel, but after this malignant experience I give them one star, only because Tripadvisor will not allow zero.
If you do still choose to book a room here despite my warning, expect small, pervasive irritations to spoil your stay, like a thousand tiny cuts. Expect them to forget that side order of a glass of ice, that teaspoon with your cup of coffee, that washcloth in your shower, or an iron with your ironing board. Call housekeeping and get engineering. Are these deal breakers? No. But at the Linden Suites, expect the staff to say ‘yes’ when they really mean ‘no’. Expect lip service and lies spoken through smiling mouths.
At the Linden Suites, expect to be swindled. There are no other words to describe what they did to us. I have a new slogan for this sorry excuse of a hotel: Linden Suites: We Will Lie To You, But At Least We Smile.
Couples - Sep 14, 2017